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Young surfer proves she’s queen of the waves

Apr 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

SURF champion Elin Tawharu returned to Taranaki’s TSB Bank NZ Surf Festival this year to come out on top for the second year in a row.  

Elin, (right) won the under 12 girls division for the Micro Groms 2012 event in Oakura over Easter weekend, as well as winning last year.

The 11 year old came with six of her friends to this year’s contest and said it was her friendships that inspired her.

“I enjoy all my friends being out there with me, because I am just having fun,” she said. Elin explained how she and her friends go out surfing every day.

“That’s pretty much how we train, just go surfing and practice.”

Despite being opponents, the group all travelled to the event together with their families and even booked the same accommodation.

“Staying together helps the girls encourage each other because they’re all really best friends,” said coaching mentor, Jo Young.

“They are as good as each other. That’s why they are doing so well as a group nationally.”

Every Wednesday the girls are told what they need to work on and given tips by Mount College surf coach, Khan Butler.

“He gives each of us things like stretches and just tells us what we need to work on,” said Elin.

Elin won two out of three contests that took place in the Mount, Whangamata and Piha, resulting in her becoming the overall winner in the 2012 Grom Series.

SURFING GIRLS:From left Back row: Raiha Ensor, Treyarn Barbarich, Maaia Reid -Bennett, Tiana-Breeze de Mooij, Kea Smith, Elin Tawharu. Front row, Iritana Butler, Ripeka Smith, Teina Smith.

Kea Smith (11) is among the group from the Mount and is Elin’s main competition, coming in second behind Elin in the Grom Series.

Elin’s other friends are Raiha Ensor (12) and Maaia Reid-Bennet (12). They are in the older age group events, but they will all be competing in the same age group next year.

Elin said she looks forward to this as she enjoys entering contests against older competitors.

“It’s quite fun competing with them because they kinda’ talk to you.  I kinda’ like it too, because they don’t see you as that competitive and it’s fun surfing with them ‘cause they know where to go.”

After their success at the Taranaki event, the girls now only have one contest left for the season.

They will travel to Gisborne for the Quicksilver King of the Groms, to enter into the under 16 girls contest.

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